Gynecomastia is the development of abnormally large mammary glands in males. This causes breast enlargement and can sometimes lead to milk secretions in bad cases. Gynecomastia is Greek and literally translated means “Woman Breast.” This condition occurs in all ages of men. Most cases of pubescent gynecomastia is not due to obesity despite popular belief and sometimes it will shrink or even disappear following adolescents. Some causes of “gyno” as it is often called for short are uncertain. It has been attributed to imbalance and raging sex hormones during pubescent stages. Also breast development can result from hypertrophy of the breast muscles or pectorals. This is the type of breast development generally associated with weightlifting and exercise. This is muscular development.

Pathological Causes

Some cases of gynecomastia has no clear cause. However there are some potentially pathological causes for gynecomastia.

These are:

-increased serum estrogen

-decreased testosterone production

-androgen receptor defects

-chronic kidney disease

-chronic liver disease


-other chronic illnesses


Medication is the cause of 10-20% of all gynocomastia cases that occur in children. Medicines attributed to this are cimetidine, omeprazole, spironolactone, imatinib mesylate, finasteride and some antipsychotics. Some of these medicines cause problems directly in the breast tissue while others lead to secretion of a hormone called prolactin from the pituitary gland by blocking the actions of dopamine on the lactotrope cell croups. Androstenedione can lead to breast enlargement as well. This supplement was big during the 90s when first used by Mark McGuire. Androstene as it is often called causes excess estrogen activity.

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